After sweeping Des Moines Hoover on Monday, the Ottumwa High baseball team thought a sweep over Indianola on Wednesday would give them the #3 seed in their substate tournament.
As it turns out, those games won’t get a chance to matter.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced the tournament pairings for both Class 3A and Class 4A Tuesday afternoon, and Ottumwa was given the #4 seed in its tournament. In a quirk rather unique to the Iowa 4A baseball tournament, no team in the six-team bracket gets a first-round bye. Instead, OHS will play at #3 seed Des Moines Lincoln, while #5 Urbandale travels to #2 West Des Moines Valley, and #1 Des Moines East hosts #6 Des Moines North. After the first round, the highest-seeded team still alive will get a bye to the substate final, while the other two remaining teams will face off in a semifinal game.
(It’s worth noting that, in a traditional format, the top two seeds would have received first-round byes, with #3 hosting #6 and #4 hosting #5. In that scenario, Ottumwa would have had a home game against Urbandale, instead of having to travel to Lincoln.)
The bracket currently says Ottumwa will play at Des Moines Lincoln on Friday, July 19th at 7:00. The time is likely to be changed, however, since Lincoln’s home field does not have lights.